Ohio Gives Green Light to First Medicinal Marijuana Processor, Clearing Way for Edibles and Creams


  • Thinkstock

Ohio officials cleared the state's first medicinal marijuana processor to start operating March 8, filling the last gap in the state's medical cannabis program.

Grow Ohio LLC received approval from the Ohio Department of Commerce to operate a 60,000-square-foot processing facility in Muskingum County outside of Zanesville. The final certification allows Grow Ohio to begin manufacturing products like edibles and creams from marijuana for the state's 19,395 licensed medicinal marijuana recipients. Up to this point, those patients, who have conditions ranging from cancer to diabetes, could only buy buds from marijuana plants.

In total, the state has issued 38 provisional licenses to processors, though it can issue as many as 40. But the process of granting final approval for those processors has been slower than it has for the rest of the steps in the state's supply chain. So far, 16 cultivators have been cleared for operation out of 29 companies that received provisional licenses. Three of the state's five testing sites are ready to go, and nine of 56 dispensaries that will sell the finished product have received final approval to open.

Originally, the state's medicinal marijuana program, which was created by state lawmakers, was slated to open in September. But snags in the application processes for various licenses — including legal challenges from some companies that were denied licenses — slowed the state's rollout of the program, which finally launched Jan. 16.

Since that time, roughly 5,500 licensed patients have purchased more than 200 pounds of medicinal marijuana worth more than $1.5 million.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.